By Daniel Yoder
“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Job 1:8-11
We all know the story well. Job was a man that was perfect and upright, that loved God and avoided evil. He was wealthy and God had blessed his life and after a series of disasters he lost everything. There are too many descriptions of his losses and how he was affected by them to list here. He was a broken man.
What Satan was implying concerning Job was that Job was only serving God because God had blessed him. Satan was sure that without the wealth and land, without his family and his untarnished reputation that he would never continue to serve God.
We find in the scripture that Job had his times of questioning. He cursed the day he was born and didn’t understand the reason for the things he faced. But through it all, he never charged God. He never got angry with God.
We are living in a world where everything that can be shaken is being shaken. Jobs are no longer secure. Families are falling prey to the enemy and his devices. The heart of the young man is failing him. Churches are being broken and ministries are breaking under the load. Good men that have supported the church and been right with the Lord, and their families, are struggling with losses and pressures of the day. No wonder the scripture warns us that in the last days the very elect would be deceived if it is possible.
Men of promise are being tempted by the things of this world and being swayed by the trappings thereof. The pull for bigger and better things have left many empty and wanting.
We are on the other side of an era of false security. We have lived in a world overcome with the need to have more, be more, want more and do whatever you need to do to have it.
Corporations have been built with smoke and mirrors. Gain and greed has all but destroyed the fabric of modern society. Respect for blessings that God poured out on man all but vanished as over time we watched man become his own god.
As society prospered, the church and God’s people began to prosper. We built beautiful buildings and acted upon dreams that our forefathers of the gospel only imagined. Faith became easier when jobs were plentiful and the .com generation was telling us that ordinary men could dare to dream of wealth and privilege.
The Church, and as a result the ministry of the Church, felt the blessing of the age and churches were able to cultivate ministries within and for the first time in history evangelists were as blessed financially as their evangelism.
In the current uncertain times in which we live we find the men that in recent past wrote checks to pay their employees are now standing in the same unemployment lines as the men they once employed.
Churches need revival and can’t afford it . . . the evangelists still feel the burden. Pastors feed their flocks and most importantly still feel the powerful call of God and yet struggle from week to week financially to supply the gospel to our churches and also to provide for their families. And yet, there is an underlying rumble of refreshing that is felt but not fully realized as of yet. The question of the hour has become: IS GOD ENOUGH?
It is in the nature of every man to worry and carry the weight of their world on their shoulders. It’s hard for a man to truly surrender the control of his life to anyone, even God. This is one of the miracles of salvation that God breaks the will of a man to surrender control back to this unseen, often unreasonable, unexplainable high power, that is, God.
It is unreasonable to think that a man that is serving God faithfully and true would have to suffer loss. It is unexplainable how it often seems to our earthly eyes that the wicked experience gain while God’s people suffer. It is simply unexplainable. It is difficult at best in some situations to hold onto faith when you look to the right and to the left, the front and behind and you cannot perceive God anywhere.
Paul, in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews speaks of men of great faith. He talks about their exploits with explosive phrases such as: “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, and obtained promises.” He goes on to explain that they: “stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword. He even said that out of their weakness they were made strong. He let us know that these men were valiant in the fight and sent armies to flight! He said that through the faith of these men, “women received their dead raised to life again.”
BUT, then he continues by saying: “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. ” Hebrews 11:36-40
These people of suffering were people of faith also. The separation between the two is simply this; some had faith to escape, but others had faith to endure. You see, some had faith to be healed, but others had faith to die.
Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15) His ways had been perfect and upright and blessed, but now it was to endure affliction, and to get stronger through the persecution and know that whether he lived or died he would see God.
You may have the faith to believe for your healing or you may have the faith to die, but God will be enough in either situation. You may have faith to escape or you may just have to have the faith to endure whatever trial you are facing, but you can rest assured that God will absolutely be enough.
We give a definitive answer to the pending personal question through our gains and through our losses whether or not we believe that God is enough for us. Either way, God will require that the question be answered in each of our lives.
You may consider yourself a man of God and still have to live with the thorn in your flesh just to remind you that you need Him. You may shun the very appearance of evil and live a holy and upright life and yet you struggle everyday with afflictions of your flesh just to perfect the prayer of faith in your life.
Remember that Job said he looked for God all around him and He could not find Him anywhere, but Job’s point was powerful when he said, “But He knows the way that I take, and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Job continues to tell of how he has been true to the Lord. It is in this chapter that he says emphatically, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” His clear affirmation tells me that Job had surrendered to God in his affliction, saying, “for He performs the thing that is appointed for me.” Job knew that this was not his chapter to write, God was in charge of the pen and Job was in it till it was finished one way or the other.
Paul said in Romans 8:17-18: ” . . . and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Whether you can see it right now or not, the glory of God will be revealed. The resolve is in knowing that in any event the book is His to write. The comfort is in understanding that whatever character He casts you as, it is His perfect plan for your ultimate deliverance.
It is easy to shout and dance about the fact that your Father is the God of the universe who is rich and owns the world and all that is in it. It is easy to maintain your belief that your God is the Savior of the world, the healer of all disease, the author and finisher of faith. It is another thing entirely when He begins to write a story for you that requires having faith in a God that remains silent.
So in your struggle, your losses, your heartache and your trouble, there is a pending question that you alone can answer: IS GOD ENOUGH?